The syringe has undergone a radical shift in appearance over time, resulting from the emergence of new materials and an increased professional awareness of the importance of hygiene. Early syringes incorporated a suction device attached to a bladder, usually made from animal skin. In the nineteenth century these began to be replaced with instruments crafted from metal. In the early twentieth century glass syringes became favoured, whilst in recent decades polymer-based syringes have eclipsed them in popularity. A range of syringe types dating from the early nineteenth century are shown in our collection.